Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The art of hanging art

As a painter I have a lot of art; my own and by other people.  Naturally I want to display as much of it as possible but I'm also attracted to serene spaces with almost bare walls.  It's a constant tug of war: how to display as much as possible while maintaining a simple, uncluttered look?  Here are some ideas.

Include art as part of a larger display

Interior Styling - Sarah Yates / Painting by Matt Stalling

 Include art as part of a shelf or tabletop display.  Lean it against the wall and layer it with other objects.  The art is still the focal point but it is integrated in a way it wouldn't be if it were hanging out on the wall all by itself.  (photo via A House in the Hills, painting by Matt Stalling)

Use a statement piece

electric blue

If you have a large blank wall then go for broke and add a statement picture.  Small room + small art might seem like common sense but I find that large pieces can make a room feel spacious even if it is quite modest in size.  It looks luxurious and it gives the room a focal point.  If possible, hang it where you will see it as soon as you walk into the room such as over the sofa, bed or dining table.  You could achieve a look similar to the room above with a Sharon Montrose print.  (photo via Marie Nichols Stylist)

The more the merrier

wallpaper + gallery

With salon style hanging, when it works it really works.  This is a great opportunity to hang a collection that tells a story about who you are.  Your collection could be anything at all, from family photos to seascapes.  Often hanging several little pictures together is more effective than dotting them randomly around the house.  I have a blank white wall in my kitchen which has a grouping of my own paintings of family and pets plus a few souvenirs from my travels.  I love that it's in the "heart" of my home.  Two tips on hanging art this way.  If you are hanging little pictures, then hang them where people will get close enough to actually see what they are and admire the detail.  And two, keep it neat and with enough space between frames.

Be different

Hanging your art can be as easy as hanging wooden hangers! Here is a tutorial on how to create a unique wall of pictures using wooden hangers.

Sometimes, it's not what you hang, but how you hang it that counts.  In the above picture, wooden pants hangers are used to hang a collection of prints.  What's weird can be weirdly perfect.  (photo via budget wise home)

Things that are not art are art


Clothing, jewelry, shoes and bags.  If it's beautiful, then display it.  There's something glamorous about having your best things on display; like you were just getting ready to go somewhere wonderful.  They also add a lovely texture and pattern to rooms.  (photo via Debi Treloar)

And there you have it.  Five of my favorite ways of hanging art  (and other things) from an art-lover.  How do you hang yours?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

DIY - notebooks and baskets from boxes and bags

In my opinion there are two kinds of DIY.  The kind you need to plan and shop for.  Sourcing materials like beads and paints is half the fun of these DIYs, but sometimes isn't it nice to find a DIY you can do right now, with what you have on hand?  That kind of DIY is great for an evening when there's nothing good on TV or a rainy weekend.  These two DIYs are the second type.  One uses cereal boxes and the other uses paper bags.  What attracted me (aside from the instant gratification) is how good they look considering the humble materials they are made of.  

First up - mini notebooks from a cereal box from Creme de la Craft.  Natalie specialises in upcycling everyday objects into beautiful things.  If you ever get the itch to make something, her blog should be your first stop.  See the full instructions here.

Second but no less wonderful - paper bag baskets by Sarah Lipoff of Popsugar.  This is what I'm going to use next time I need a gift basket.  I love pretty gift wrapping but I like it to cost less than the gift!  Read the full instructions here

Monday, 15 July 2013

Beautiful hang-ups - jewelry hangers by Stampel and Lovely Indeed

I'm the kind of person who forgets to wear jewelry if it isn't easy to grab as I run out the door.  At the moment I'm keeping most of it in a wooden box on my dresser but that isn't a great solution: it gets tangled and metal seems to tarnish more quickly.  So lately I've been considering making a jewelry hanger.  Here are two of my favorites to buy or inspire a DIY.

These beauties are made by Australian artist Andrea Shaw of Stampel using reclaimed wood.   I think they look like little art installations.  They really display the jewlery beautifully don't they?  This would make a great kids DIY, especially if you used stamps for the patterns.  By the way, the necklaces on the right are from Stampel too.  Andrea has a real flare for color combinations.

I found this gorgeous driftwood creation on My Paradissi.  Instructions on how to make it can be found on Lovely Indeed.  I love the combination of the raw, natural wood with the gold.  I actually own a beautiful, shapely piece of driftwood I've been saving for just such a project.  Looks like its time has come!

Since I love them both, I plan to have a go making each design.  If both work out, I'll hang one in the bedroom and one over my desk =)  Which do you prefer?


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Castles in the air

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be.  Now put foundations under them."

- Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Fortune favors the bold - using bright colors in kids rooms

This post grew out of a funny conversation with my boss who was lamenting that her son wants a lime green bedroom in their new house.  Everyone sympathized that kids are often attracted to the hardest colours to live with; either pink and purple, or the loudest shades of green, blue and red.  That got me thinking - is there any way to make these saturated colours livable, gorgeous even?  I think so and here's how...

Paint the furniture - keep the walls a neutral colour; white, grey, cream or soft beige and make a statement with furniture painted in saturated hues.  Try and focus attention on one or two standout pieces such as the bed, dresser or desk.  Too many pieces will look like you got carried away!

Twiggy & Lou: September 2012sweet


Wallpaper and wall decals - wallpaper has got to be the easiest way to use bold colours successfully.  See  here and here for ideas.  Now, wallpaper can be pricey and it isn't always possible to hit on exactly what you want.  Decals allow you to customize your own colour combinations.  They are easily removable, so you can go bold with confidence.  I prefer to avoid the overly cutesy decals and go for something more quirky, such as a realistic animal.
p.s.  I think giraffes are the new "it" animal.  Who doesn't love a giraffe?

Baby Floral Giraffe Wall Decal - White decal - Bold floral - Modern baby nursery - Yellow, orange, white, beige, safari theme.Wall decals, giraffe vinyl wall stickers, kids wall decals - T4

Top, bottom

Choose and unusual colour - this olive green colour is not what springs to mind when I think "kids' room" but how cool is it?  It's totally kid appropriate and yet sophisticated at the same time.  Grey is another colour not usually associated with children, but it makes a wonderful base to highlight  colourful accessories.  It looks especially good with red, pink, yellow, green and bright blues (did I just name most of the spectrum?).  Wouldn't kids' paintings look lovely on grey wall?

Ideas decoraciĆ³n infantil barata.

Left, right

Use black - black is not commonly used in kids rooms either but it gives any colour scheme instant edge.  It's the antidote to the sugary-sweetness of pastels.  

Creative Kids' Bedroom    Create a bold accent wall with black chalkboard paint, so kids can "redecorate" their room.    Black shelves disappear against the dark backdrop, making their contents appear to float. Conversely, bright colours pop: a red vintage store display has tiers of rotating shelves for keeping the floor clear of gear.

Left, right

white kids room with lovely detailstweeting birds wall stickers

Left, right 

Accessorize - tried and true; keep everything else neutral and let some seriously cool, seriously colourful accessories do the talking.  Art, especially prints, are a great way to introduce bold colour.

yellow bed with a dot bedding setColourful cushions | Varpunen: Odottavan aika

Left, right

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Eye Spy - photography by Alicia Bock

Travel Photograph - Text - Type - Quote -  Fine Art Photograph- The Best

If worked in an office with a desk - I'd hang this picture by Alicia Bock over it.  Text over photography is becoming very cool; some of it I could take or leave but Alicia's work is cool.  Her work includes nature and travel photography as well.  It's sad and joyful, optimistic and nostalgic all mixed together.  The perfect balance of opposites like bitter sweet chocolate.  

Alicia says her inspiration is "found in memories of [her] grandparents' gardens, and boxes of old Polaroids".  If you like what you see here, hop over and visit her Etsy shop which is celebrating it's seventh anniversary.  Well done Alicia!

Vintage and Velvet - Antlers - Antler Photograph - Crystal - Quartz - Gem - Deer - Fine Art Photograph - Nature Photography - Autumn
Bird Photograph - Nature Photography - Trees - Spring - Flock- Original Signed Fine Art Photograph
Flower Photograph  -  Spring - Forsythia  - Original Fine Art  Photograph - Yellow

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Six Wonderful Ways With Wallpaper

I've been having a regular pin-fest tonight and wallpaper was my quest.  In Wallpaper the Bold and the Beautiful I covered some of the wallpaper legends form uber glam, to  timeless classics, to the latest offerings of a talented new designer.  Now let's look at some ways to use paper including plenty of ideas for people who want (or can afford) only a little bit.

Wallpaper back splash - The wall behind your kitchen bench is a great place to use a boldly patterned paper.  Wallpaper (behind glass) elevates even the most basic of kitchen cabinetry and benches.   Because it is a small area, neatly framed by bench and cabinets, you can go with a bolder paper than you normally would, so it's a great chance for some creative self expression.  Here are my faves hot from the pin board.

Left, right
Kitchen & WallpaperNew house has no back splash, use a decal to make one!

Of course there's no reason you have to limit wallpaper to just the back splash.  All-over wallpaper softens the most minimal of kitchens.  It makes them feel so friendly and inviting don't you think?

moroccan wallpaper in kitchenBlack and white geometric tiles glass wallpaper patterned splash back kitchen

You might think that putting a bold paper in a small room would be overwhelming but that isn't usually the case.  Small rooms tend to be the ones we visit often but don't spend long periods of time in; you a taste of the design without having it in-your-face all day long, so you won't get sick of it.  Smaller walls also mean fewer pattern repeats so the paper will appear less "busy".  Great little rooms for paper include: entryways, hallways and bathrooms. can have yellow zebra wallpaper!

via #zebra #pattern #wallpaper in a funky #hotel #bathroom

Don't be afraid of small, busy patterns.  From a distance small patterns merge into a pleasing texture and colour combination that is easier to live with than large, bold patterns. 

Design*Sponge’s sneak peek the wall paper and bed, and maybe the cat too. (

Use wallpaper to make odd architecture make sense.  If a room has an alcove or an odd angle in it; consider papering that part only.  Turning a negative into a positive and hiding in plain sight!

WallpaperWould love to have a relaxation spot in my future house. Not exactly like this but something cozy with a rocking chair and fluffy blankets...yes, that would be nice :)

Graphic patterns in a classic colour way such as black and white are great for kids' bedrooms.  Spots, stripes and other simple patters don't date much and are as suitable for teens as they are for babies.  Both these papers would be great for boys or girls.  The right hand one is a particularly cleaver mix with the pink pillows and the red truck.  The yellow beds are divine!  I adore small hits of yellow, in much the same way other people use red.

 Left, right
wallpaperwall paper

So there you have it; six ways to use wallpaper and twelve gorgeous (in my opinion) inspiration pics.  Honestly, the last two make me wish I had a time machine so I could go back to my childhood bedroom and paper it with one of these!

For more wallpaper inspiration, see more of my Pinterest board here.  Happy pinning =)